Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sunday Status D-286 and estimating level of proficiency?

This upcoming week I have an exam, so I’m entering full exam mode. I do try, however, to include a bit of Korean whenever I can by listening to music and podcasts. That being said, it seems that not much of it sticks since my mind keeps revolving around verdicts.

One thing that is interesting from a language perspective did happen, though. One of my colleagues, whom I talk to a lot when we are both at work, returned from exchange. He’s Scandinavian like me, but also happens to speak a decent level of Chinese. We often speak about languages and language learning, and since we are both getting closer to graduating from our respective MSc’s we also talk about future work.

He noted that estimating language proficiency always throws him off a bit when he’s e.g. looking at other people’s CVs or updating his own. How to measure unless you do an exam where they have fairly specific requirements for what you need to know at different levels? He pointed out that in spite of never taking any French classes, he can still understand a lot due to a reasonable knowledge of Latin based languages. Nevertheless, he deems his Chinese knowledge to be a lot better than his French although if he doesn’t know a word in Chinese, he just doesn’t know it. He might be able to infer a bit from the shape of the radicals, but it’s a gamble. I feel the same way about Italian. I understand more when listening to Italian or reading Italian compared to Korean, but I still consider myself better at Korean – however that makes sense… Maybe it’s because I’ve studied more Korean grammar so I have a better understanding of the structure of Korean whereas for Italian, I hear a word I didn’t know before and think “oh it makes sense that that’s what they call it”, but actually replicating the sentence with the correct structure takes a lot more effort.

At least for the beginning of the semester it seems that Wednesdays will be the most convenient language-day. Starting from next week, that is…

Home-made Korean citrus tea from one Korean friend in a Korean mug from another

Exam studies… Home-made Korean citrus tea from one Korean friend in a Korean mug from another